Girls just wanna have -- huh?

Assuming you have friends, ask what they've been doing. Ask if it was fun. Some will say "Oiyah," the equivalent of "Oh yeah" as one word, with the "Oh" much higher than the "yeah," meaning it was so great they can't take you there. Usually they answer in a thin, soprano "Yeah?," meaning they're not really sure if it was fun. Sometimes you'll get, "Well, I don't know about fun," as if you had asked something really degenerate ("Well, I wouldn't say hermaphrodite"). Your court-appointed therapist will tell you that fun is important to your mental health but lots of people think they're too busy and important to have it. Fun can be as easy as redirecting your attitude but often, like rain or passion, fun can't be invoked. The best you can do is give it directions and hope it shows up at the party.

"The Fun Book: 102 Ways for Girls to Have Some," by Melina Gerosa, is a new book that supposedly will help fun-starved femmes with suggestions that are really supposed to drop a firecracker down your pants: "Buy a pair of fuzzy white terry cloth slippers." "You shop, he cooks." "Call in sick when you're not." Oh, catch me. The real fun is imagining how this trite waste of trees got printed.

Wash out</p>;;

Few other suggestions have enough spark to light your Lucky, either. For example, "Use your meanest ex-boyfriend's T-shirt to clean the bathroom." I don't care if you're using his hair, you're still cleaning the bathroom. For fun that doesn't involve you coming into contact with the toilet, put his shirt into the catbox. Having a puss you can count on is fun.

"Become an expert in something exotic that interests you" is a good idea. Gerosa suggests as topics "pearls, single-malt scotch, orchids," which sound like accessories you'd spot at the Golden Dusk Assisted Living Facility's "Happy Birthday Gert, 94 Years Young!" party, or the next day, at Gert's wake. Still, it's fun to be a know-it-all-about something. I, for example, am an armchair primatologist, which allows me to say stuff like, "Did you know a female baboon's genitals swell up and turn bright red when they're pregnant so you can spot them from across the jungle?" Clearing a room is fun.

We all know you can have lots of fun in bed (or on a diving board, or in an unoccupied train car, assuming you're a tramp, which could also be fun; I wouldn't know). While stating in her intro that fun doesn't require money, Gerosa suggests, "Splurge on Battenburg lace pillow shams and ... pure Egyptian cotton sheets." They probably have coupons for those in the Penny-saver. Better still, go to someone's house who has these linens, cut out eye holes in them, put them over your head and come down the stairs going "Oooooh, I'm the ghost of your expensive sheets." Being mean is fun, too.

Write away

Personally, I think it would be fun to get a bloated advance from a publisher to scribble down a bunch of nonsense, but since you're the next best thing, I'll try out my alternative suggestions on you:

Wear a tiara and carry roses to have your driver's license photo snapped.

Draw big red lips on the cat.

Take a stick of butter, let it soften until you can reshape it into a square, then freeze it. When company comes, put it in the soap dish.

Flash a bus.

When the mayor walks by, say, "Nice ass!"

Base all your decisions for the week on what the Magic 8 Ball says.

Have sex.

Tell your friend that you're going to give them a really great all-natural facial, then just throw a bunch of junk in the blender (cantaloupe, ravioli, Milky Ways) and slop it on.

Play strip darts.

When a guy is terse with you, say, "God, you're such a bitch, you must be getting your period."

Tell gossip using sock puppets.

Go to the beach.

Fill a piñata with eggs.

Take the mash notes your ex wrote you and send them to his new girlfriend with your name crossed out at the top and hers written in using crayon.

Go to the store and cross out the suggestions listed in "The Fun Book" and put these in using crayon.

Gerosa does include some fine quotes from some fun women, quotes that are better than most of her suggestions, quotes like, "It's the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter" (Marlene Dietrich) and "Be happy. It's just one way of being wise (Colette)." With those kind of friends and that kind of attitude, you don't need a book to help you have a good time, especially this one. It's OK, but I don't know about fun.